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What Is HB 86 & How Does It Affect You?

Ohio recently updated, and overhauled, a large portion of its criminal code and many people – including attorneys and judges are scrambling to understand exactly what it means. The changes are sweeping, and comprehensive and a criminal attorney should take the time to go through how it specifically applies to your case or your situation. Below are some of the highlights of the recent changes in the law:

HB 86 makes powder cocaine and crack cocaine the same…sort of.

For years groups have been attempting to reduce the penalties for crack cocaine to that of powder cocaine. Groups argued that the disparate punishments/levels between the two types of drugs impacted minorities differently. Well the groups got what they wanted… sort of! Crack and powder are now at the same levels, however, the powder levels were essentially raised to the crack levels. In many ways this is the opposite of what the groups wanted.

But there is some good news – in many cases all felony 4 and 5 drug cases will be mandatory probation cases, where there was a strong possibility of prison before you might be looking at mandatory probation.

On top of this the MDO specification that formerly allowed judges to sentence defendants to an additional (up to) 8 or 10 years depending on the level of the drug has been dramatically changed.

For more information on this subject our criminal attorneys are available for consultation in Cleveland, Ohio. We wish you the best.

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